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Monday, October 17, 2005

The Gathering Storm

Have been waiting for an excuse to use this picture, and this evening feels just about right. You can feel it, too, can't you? That ever-growing feeling of pressure and tension in the air. That hint of ozone from the lightning striking closer and closer. It's not just me this evening, is it?

First, there was this article in the Guardian online, regarding the fact that the probe that Fitz is leading has caught a break bcause the details that Judy Miller was given by Scooter Libby were incorrect. My mind is racing through all the possibilities and I come back to two:

(1) Someone deliberately gave Scooter inaccurate information because they didn't trust him and wanted to see what he would do with it. To have given him accurate information was too much of a risk, and had a higher damage potential, so this was a way to limit damage if he leaked it. (Ooops...good call, if so.)

(2) Scooter gets all his good information on people at cocktail parties with CIA agents who drink too much. (Not as likely, but hey...trying to be fair.)

But there are clearly at least three CIA folks (ex or current) (or NSA or national security related somehow) who were willing to vouch for the fact that Valerie Plame Wilson never worked for WINPAC, but instead worked for the directorate of operations -- which is a whole other thing altogether, and extra super double secret probation kind of material.

And it looks like Judy Miller didn't really have any super secret clearance for herself after all. According to the Guardian (who got a quote from Pentagon Spokesman Bryan Whitman which essentially details exactly what someone has to go through to get clearance and his snide tone indicates that Judy did no such thing).

NBC came to the same conclusion on La Vida Judy, with Jim Miklaszewski reporting that:
Officials from the CIA, the Defense Intelligence Agency and the Pentagon say they have no idea what New York Times reporter Judith Miller was talking about when she claimed to have been given a "security clearance" while she was embedded with a U.S. Army unit in Iraq in 2003.
Ouch -- "no idea." Not even a "let me check on that and get back to you." Double ouch. Although if Judy were to have been given clearance and then revealed classified information she obtained through her clearance access...well, maybe she'd better put Bob Bennett on speed dial.

Then, I stumbled onto this Financial Times story that Fitz's probe has widened to take a peek at pre-war intelligence handling, including a majority of the WHIG membership. Apparently, the political use of intelligence information has now become a matter of interest for our boy Fitz -- especially given that it may have been used as a weapon against the critics of the Administration.

Um...hello...schadenfreude hotline? I need a double helping, please....

Then, there is this piece from The Raw Story, claiming that the NY Daily News will report in tomorrow's edition that a well-placed source within the WH has flipped and has been helping Fitzgerald. And that all eyes are absolutely on Dick Cheney. Haven't see the NYDaily News piece yet. No idea what it says. But I swear, my birthday may be coming a day early this year if it is true.

Can you hear the thunder in the distance?

[I'm happy to report that this fantastic pix has a photo credit. Huge hat tip to Mike Hollingshead at Extreme Instability. Wow, these are some gorgeous shots.]